Africa Voice/SMS Verification Service Comparison Report

How to choose the Best Voice/SMS Verification Services in Africa

Africa Voice/SMS Verification Services Report

Africa Voice/SMS Verification Services and Mobile Phone Carriers


In each African country there are multiple phone carriers.

  • Ghana
    • Airtel
    • Expresso
    • Glo
    • MTN
    • tiGO
    • Vodafone
  • Kenya
    • Airtel
    • Orange Kenya
    • Safaricom
    • Telcom Kenya
    • Zain
  • Nigeria
    • Airtel
    • Etisalat
    • Glo
    • M-Tel
    • MTN
    • Multilinks
    • Starcomms
    • Visafone
    • 9Mobile
  • Uganda
    • Airtel
    • i-Tel
    • K2 Telecom
    • MTN
    • Orange
    • Smile
    • Suretelecom
    • Uganda Telecom
    • Vodafone
    • Zain
  • South Africa
    • Cell C & Virgin
    • iBurst
    • MTN
    • Telkom Mobile
    • Vodacom
    • Wirels Connect
    • 8.ta

For the purpose phone verification, a web service needs to send voice & SMS OTP (also known as one-time PIN) by communicating with one of the many global voice & SMS verification services, such as Twilio, Infobip, Nexmo, MessageBird, etc. or regional ones like Cequens, Plivo, Tropo, etc. which sits astride the Internet and phone infrastructure.

Goal of Africa Voice & SMS Verification Service Comparison Report


Our previous research shows that using a single voice & SMS verification service never gives you the optimum voice & SMS OTP deliverability globally since each service, depending on their complex partnerships with phone carriers in each region, etc., will excel in in some regions/carriers, while falling short in others.

In this study, we:

  • Test more voice & SMS verification services
  • Focus on reliability measurements at country-level


This enables us to offer more insights about voice & SMS verification service OTP delivery:

  • How important is choosing a single voice & SMS verification service that delivers OTP?
    • What is the drop in OTP reliability if we wrongly choose a poor voice & SMS verification service?
  • Does using 2 or more services improve OTP reliability?
    • You send an OTP re-request or auto-send an unconverted OTP through the 2nd service to improve delivery


We use Conversion Rate (number of requested OTP used/total number of requested OTP) as a yardstick to measure the reliability of SMS/voice OTP deliverability of each service for each carrier.

Caveat Emptor: Conversion Rate is a good indicator of reliable OTP deliverability, but it is not a definitive one. Conversion Rate is skewed negatively by users who wrongly request for OTP when they do not need it, or users who change their mind about proceeding with the service/transaction after requesting for OTP.


OTP Conversion Rate Data Measurements for Voice & SMS Verification Service/Countries in Africa


The table below shows how each service (anonymized as P1 - P5) fare in terms of conversion rate for African countries: Ghana (GH), Nigeria (NG), and Uganda (UG). This data is used to answer the questions asked.

Voice & SMS Verification Services Conversion Rate in Africa
Table 1: Service-Country OTP Conversion Rate Measurements


How important is choosing a single voice & SMS verification service for African countries?

Africa 1-SMS Verification Service Conversion Rate Data
Table 2: Reliability and Sensitivity of Each Voice & SMS Verification Service in Africa

Details

From Table 1, we can look at the data for each service to derive Table 2:

  • Min: The worst conversion rate of the service across all countries
  • Max: The best conversion rate of the service across all countries
  • Ave: The average of conversion rate across all African countries for the service
  • Sensitivity: The difference between Min and Max
  • Reliability: Average conversion rate but color-coded to help readability (blue, yellow, purple, red in order of decreasing reliability)

Conclusion

We look at Reliability and Sensitivity.

From Table 2:
  • The best service is P3, which gives you average Reliability of 76.67% and Sensitivity of around 9.17%
    • The high average reliability and low sensitivity means P3 can deliver reliability across all countries
  • The worst service is P5, which gives you Reliability of 40.80% and Sensitivity of around 11.28%
    • Th low reliability and rather high sensitivity means P5 is a very poor and inconsistent voice & SMS verification service

Thus in Africa, if you do not have voice & SMS verification service reliability data, you can pick an outright poor service, which results in bad user experience, and major loss of potential & existing users; there is a 35.87% difference in average OTP reliability (between the worst and best OTP provider)


Does using multiple voice & SMS verification services improve reliability of OTP deliverability in Africa?

Theoretically, we can combine 2 voice & SMS verification services to improve the conversion rate. This is a combinatorial problem, which there are 10 possible combinations.
Africa 2-SMS Verification Service Conversion Rate Data
Table 3a: Reliability and Sensitivity of Each 2-Service Combination in Africa

Similarly, we can combine 3 voice & SMS verification services to improve the conversion rate. As there are a lot of combinations, we can do this heuristically; 2 of the 5 carriers have the highest delivery rates for all the 3 African countries in comparison, thus a 3-service combination will not improve on the OTP delivery reliablity of a 2-service combination.

Africa 3-SMS Verification Service Conversion Rate Data
Table 3b: Reliability and Sensitivity of Each 3-Service Combination in Africa

From Table 1, we can combine the conversion rate for each 2 and 3-service combination to derive Table 3a and 3b:
  • Min: The worst conversion rate of the 2/3 service across all countries
  • Max: The best conversion rate of the 2/3 service across all countries
  • Ave: The average of conversion rate across all countries for the 2/3 services
  • Sensitivity: The difference between Min and Max
  • Reliability: Average conversion rate but color-coded to help readability (blue, yellow, purple, red in order of decreasing reliability)

Conclusion

The effect of using a 2-service combination, is very obvious; the average Reliability across any 1-service 60.10% (from Table 2 but calculation not shown) jumps to 70.46% (from Table 3a but calculation not shown) when any 2-service combination is employed. You can see the color code for Reliability in Table 2 moving from purple and red to mostly yellow in Table 2.

The Sensitivity of any 2-service provide across all African countries is also less, i.e., OTP deliverability is more stable across countries; the Sensitivity average & variance for 1-service combination is 21.25% and 0.012%, compared to that of a 2-service combination 16.94% and 0.013%.

By selecting the best services (Table 2), the best 2-service combination (Table 3), and deriving the measurements for 3-service combination (Table 3b), we create a Strategy table (Table 4) as shown:


Africa SMS Verification Service Strategy
Table 4: Comparing Strategy of Using 1, 2, and 3 Services To Improve OTP Deliverability In Africa

2-service and 3-service combination is superior to 1-service average Reliability by more than 3%.


Comparison Summary For Voice & SMS Verification Service Reliability in Africa

Let us answer the questions posed about voice & SMS verification service in Africa:

  • How important is my choice when choosing to use a single voice & SMS verification service?
    • Extremely important because the OTP reliability varies drastically across voice & SMS verification services
  • What is the drop in OTP reliability if we choose a poor voice & SMS verification service?
    • The poorest service has average reliability < 41% compared to the best service, which has average reliability > 76% (see Table 2)
  • Does using 2 or more voice & SMS verification services help improve OTP reliability?
    • Yes. Using 2 services improves average reliability by 3%. Using 3 services offer minimal additional reliability gains

In Africa, there are more phone verification services that has poor reliability because the phone infrastructure is less mature, and it is difficult for a single voice & SMS verification service to be reliable across a large number of countries. Thus choosing this right voice & SMS verification service is really crucial. In other words, don’t risk choosing a wrong voice & SMS verification service, use RingCaptcha because we know the best voice & SMS verification service/country combination for Africa.


Best Practices of Using Multiple Voice & SMS Verification Service


For best practice, always use at least 2 services so that you can send a re-request for OTP, or auto-send an unconverted OTP through a fallback service. This is seldom done in practice because:

  • You have to maintain relationship with at least 2 different voice & SMS verification services
  • You have to write & maintain code for 2 different set of APIs
  • You have to continually test to ensure that fallback works


With RingCaptcha, you only maintain a single relationship with our SMS/voice OTP provider marketplace, develop for a single API, and you are never locked-in to any specific voice & SMS verification service. What is more we build in all these OTP fallback features plus fraud mitigation features so you don’t have to - you just make a single API call to send OTP, and everything else magically happens in RingCaptcha.

Interested to boost your business with better transactional and notification SMS deliverability, we can make it happen. Talk to an expert now.